The winner of the Palme d’Or at this years Cannes Festival, Ruben Östlund’s The Square is a quirky, funny, irreverently satirical film centring around a museum art curator and loosely about their plan to advertise and marketise their latest exhibition, The Square – a 4m x 4m square of ground that attempts to engage people in questioning their values as humans.
As the art exhibition for The Square is about to open and curator Christian (Claes Bang) gets his wallet and phone stolen in an elaborate performance, when he finds out he tracks down the phones location and hand delivers letters to tower block address to try to get it back. This leads to more complications that continue throughout the entirety of the film that impact on his ability to perform his role and leads to some decisions not being given the time and consideration that they deserve. Whilst this is one part of the film it isn’t really about any one thing but lots of little things, all tied together by Christian.
Claes Bang really does a wonderful job as the slightly egotistical, privileged Christian, who has to take a long hard look at himself the further we go into the film, and he is ably backed up by his team at the Museum, providing a great variety of characters and interactions but this is Christian’s film. There are some great little cameo-ish roles from Elizabeth Moss and Dominic West and they are maybe given too much billing in the marketing of this film (although they are big names it doesn’t feel right to give them the same emphasis as Claes). Coming in at 142 minutes it is long and could probably do with losing about 20-30 minutes towards the end as, for me, it started to drag as the scenes lost some of their potency and their punchiness but up until then it is thoroughly engaging and sprinkled with some great humour.
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆